From the get-go, tonight's Pima County Democratic Party meeting had the feeling of a showdown on Prop 401, and it was.
The room was tense as each member of the Executive Committee spoke for the allotted 2 minutes, and there was no call to the audience. Most people passed or said just a few words. Tom Prezelski and Jim Hannley, both EC members and officers in the Protect Local Control No on Prop 401, spoke eloquently against the measure.
Chairman and Prop 401 supported Jeff Rogers gave the history of the measure; first the Democrats were working with the City Council on a strong mayor charter change, but eventually he folded his efforts into those of the Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC), who was proposing strong city manager charter changes.
One young EC member read excerpts from a letter from the three City Council members who stood with their constituents and voted against the charter changes back in July. He asked that the EC "not throw them under the bus."
In the end, the mostly white, mostly male, mostly over 60 Democratic EC voted 19 yes, 5 no, and 1 abstain to endorse Prop 401.